Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on December 20, 2016
They say crime doesn't pay, but in the case of one new Pigeon Forge attraction, it might wind up paying off big. Alcatraz East, a new crime museum located at The Island development, recently opened to the public, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at our nation's crime history.
“Guests are fascinated with this museum, its artifacts and the stories we tell. I always say this is America's favorite subject,” says Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer of Alcatraz East. “Whether it's a trial you followed, a CSI show you've seen or you grew-up wanting to be a cop, we have something of interest for everyone.”
The crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island at 2757 Parkway, near Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and adjacent to Stages West and The Comedy Barn. The exterior façade, which resembles a 19th-century prison, was inspired by the historic Alcatraz penitentiary in San Francisco.
Within the 25,000-square-foot, two-story museum, there are over 100 interactive exhibits that can be enjoyed by all ages. The self-guided tour covers the history of American crime, the consequences of crime, crime scene investigation, crime fighting and pop culture.
Highlights of the many crime-related artifacts on display include John Dillinger's death mask, Al Capone's rosary, a Bonnie & Clyde collection, O.J. Simpson's infamous Ford Bronco, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino's submachine gun from the movie Scarface and the latest in law-enforcement technology.
The interactive features of the museum include a CSI lab, a simulated shooting range, safe cracking, digital fingerprinting and DUI safety training. The museum's mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime and its consequences through a captivating, interactive and educational experience.
“Crime is part of history, and often, crimes lead to laws, and then those laws create change. The good news is that learning about it often leads to crime prevention,” says Vaccarello, “Whether you want to try out your CSI skills or look at Ted Bundy's infamous VW Bug, we definitely have something of interest for everyone.”
The museum is something that its owner, John Morgan, had always envisioned. No stranger to running successful attractions, Morgan also owns WonderWorks, located a mile from Alcatraz East. The museum also has a star-studded board of advisors who help contribute to its mission of education. The experts include a Navy Seal, a prison warden, a medical examiner and Judge Belvin Perry, best known for presiding over the Casey Anthony trial.
All of us at Smoky Mountain Ziplines are excited to have a new neighbor in Pigeon Forge. If you're headed to the Smokies during this upcoming Christmas holiday, maybe you'll get a chance to check out this new attraction and also make some time to try one of our Pigeon Forge canopy tours. We'll be open December 26 through January 1, and it looks like we've got a relatively nice week of weather coming up, with sunny skies and highs in the upper 40s.